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November 29th, 2011]
[ mood | tired ]

Only two more days to get this done, so I might as well do it tonight. I have a lot of work to catch up on over the course of the next few days. My boss sent me some changes he wants made, and they have to be done asap, so that's what I'll be doing for awhile. After that, it should be fairly clear for the rest of the year. Of course, it's nice to have something to keep my mind occupied, but it's also nice to be able to relax and spend time with the family.

Garnet's been begging us to take her to see Santa Claus, so that's in the works to happen in the next few days. There's been decorating on and off, which is how it usually goes. I'm sure it'll be done before too much longer, however. The kids want to go pick out a tree, so we have to do that soon. So much to do in just a few weeks. I'm sure we'll manage just fine.

I should write more, but I'm really not feeling in the mood for it. I'm a little tired. I'm not sure if I'm going to try and sleep, but rest sounds very good at least.

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November 15th, 2011]
[ mood | blah ]

I don't feel up to writing a long entry, but I'll at least get something down. I have a pounding headache and watching the monitor isn't helping that.

Things are going all right. I've gotten some sleep, although probably not as much as I should. I can't stop sleeping completely, after all. I know. I've tried.

Thanksgiving should be good, as always. Lots of food, even though I can't even come close to trying everything everyone has to offer. I leave that to my family. They're quite the experts on it.

You're going to have to settle for that as my entry. I think I'm going to rest my eyes by at least turning down some lights.

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October 12th, 2011]
[ mood | in pain ]

I had to retreat to the basement to get away from the loudness of Markez. My head is pounding, and his Markezness is not making it any better. I took some Ibuprofen, and hopefully that will work soon. I don't get headaches very often, which is very nice. I hate them. These days, I'd rather have them than deal with knee pain, at least. Mercifully, I've been spared that for a little while, or at least much of it. Maybe my pain tolerance is going up. That would be nice.

Rafiq talked to us about his possible future plans the other night. It's hard to have conversations like that. He's supposed to be too young to be talking about these things. I still can't believe that he's almost 18. He grew up right before my eyes, and somehow, I missed it.

However, what he said did make me feel good. He's thinking of applying at Eastern Washington University, since it's close and he can still live at home if he wants, and majoring in Computer Science, with an eye on game development or graphic arts or some such thing. He hasn't decided for sure, but apparently watching me work has gotten him interested. I know he'd do well in it, because he's very bright and catches on to things like that very quickly. I thought he might be choosing that to make me happy, but watching him talk about it, it was pretty obvious he's excited about the idea.

I think I'm going to close my eyes for awhile and hope the pounding goes away. Markez is being loud enough upstairs that I can still hear him far more than I'd like.

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September 29th, 2011]
[ mood | relaxed ]

Another month, almost at an end, leaving only three more months in the year. Wasn't it 2009 just a few days ago? It feels like it.

Things have settled pretty well. Rafiq is back in school and Markez is back to complaining incessantly about Amber's skills as a teacher. Garnet at least seems to be taking after Rafiq when it comes to school. So far, anyway. I hope she's the same when she gets older. Of course, at this age, both of the boys complained about having to go to school and do homework, so I suppose she's a little ahead there. She hasn't complained much that I've heard, anyway. If she keeps it up, she's going to prove to me that girls are easier than boys to raise in many ways.

Amber's been keeping a close eye on me when it comes to working. She thinks I work too much and sleep too little. She's probably right, but I can't help it. I like to stay ahead, and then I get focused on something, and it's next to impossible for me to step away from it. I suppose there are worse character flaws. I try to do better, but it's tough.

We all had fun at the fair, although I'll let Amber regale you with tales of that, if she chooses. Or the boys. Whoever wants to. It's all kind of a blur to me, although I can recall a few things with painful clarity. Of course, I didn't do as much walking as most since my knee tends to rebel. Whenever I found a suitable place to sit, I sat. When we got home, I took pain relievers and then went to bed. I think I'm getting old.

I'm going to go spend the rest of the evening with the family, or as many of them as will be present. Markez keeps running in and out and around, so I doubt he'll be around much. Then there's Garnet, who's actually supposed to go to bed soon. Having Denny blood, that doesn't often happen, but we'll see.

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September 15th, 2011]
[ mood | exhausted ]

I have no energy. Seriously, none. Even typing is a chore.

There. Now you have a good reason for my short entry.

I'm going to bed.

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August 29th, 2011]
[ mood | tired ]

The weekend is winding down, and so is the summer. That was fast. We fit quite a lot into the summer, however, so I can't complain too much. I even got completely caught up with work and even a little ahead.

Rafiq's friend Shawn was here for two weeks, and it was nice to have him back. Rafiq is never more like his old self as when he's with Shawn, which makes me wish the family would move here. That's not likely to happen, unfortunately. But so long as they continue to let him come visit in the summer, that will be good. If only Alan's parents were so quick to let him visit. It makes me wonder what they're going to do when he turns 18 and graduates. It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to follow him to college. I shouldn't criticize, though. I came to understand the desire to be overprotective far too well.

Markez has seriously been whining about having to do the school thing again so soon. He certainly has a talent in that area. I honestly don't know how Amber home schools him without going completely crazy. I was ready to rip my hair out when I as in charge of that. She's amazing in so many ways.

I think I'm going to try and go to bed now. I'm feeling quite tired after the long weekend, and the heat's been no damn help. I was very happy to hear that the temperatures are supposed to be in the seventies this week. That should be a nice break.

But for now, bedtime.

Edit: Well damnit. It just occurred to me that this is Rafiq's senior year. He's turning 18 in January and is graduating in June. This is a fact that I've been pushing back in my mind for a long time. Now it won't be pushed back.

My son's almost an adult. Where the hell did all those years go?

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July 13th, 2011]
[ mood | busy ]

I've somehow managed to get behind on work, even though I was quite a bit ahead before. I suppose that's what summer can do to you, especially when there are a lot of birthdays to deal with. There's certainly no lack of activity around here this time of year.

So here I am, trying to catch up. At least the day isn't too sunny, and it's even a bit dreary, so staying inside is no sacrifice. I've managed to make some progress, at least. I should be caught up, and hopefully ahead, in a couple of days. I want to get as far ahead as possible before Rafiq's friend Shawn comes to visit since we do quite a few things when he's here. Here's hoping I can manage it, with a minimum of late nights so as not to risk Amber's stern reprimands. None of you may have noticed, but she's a little protective. I'll refrain from putting the obvious "over" there.

My train of thought keeps getting interrupted by various things. I started this over half an hour ago, and haven't gotten any further. I think that's a sign for me to end it and get back to work. It's not very long, and for that I apologize, but I don't do well when distracted. I doubt that I'd do any better tomorrow or the next day, either.

I'm so looking forward to catching up.

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June 27th, 2011]
[ mood | tired ]

We just got back a few minutes ago after having a nice day celebrating Mikel's birthday. It's winding down what I think is the biggest birthday month around here. Just one more to go. I think. I hope I haven't missed anyone.

It was a good day all around. A lot of food, as is typical at any Denny involved gathering. We could feed a small third world country on what gets consumed at them. It just always amazes me how much anyone with Denny blood can fork away. I get full even watching Garnet eat.

It's nice to have summer getting into full swing. While Markez is almost constantly hyper, at least it's a nice relief not having to worry about getting him to do school work. I know Amber's enjoying the relaxation involved in that. At least he's old enough that we don't have to keep a constant eye on him and can actually sleep occasionally. I can't imagine what it will be like when he's finally an adult and out of the house. I suppose it's conceivable that I might miss the noise. You never know, right?

I think I'm going to try and get some sleep and ward off the headache that's threatening. At least it didn't hit in the middle of the festivities.

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June 15th, 2011]
[ mood | worn out ]

Well, I'm cutting it closer than usual. Work has been absorbing all of my attention today. Well, most of it. It's hard to concentrate on it with Markez running around and yelling and causing mischief. I see the next day or two being even worse with him since we're right at the end. Sometimes I half-expect him to explode with all the excitement. I'm tempted to call Mikel tomorrow and ask him to take Markez out after his school work is done to help him run off some energy.

Life lately has been mostly work, so I don't really have a lot to say. Work stuff would ultimately be boring for those reading this, and I'd hate to bore you all. Hopefully there will be more interesting things coming up this summer for me to post about. For now, I think I'm going to close this off and go to bed so I can get up a little earlier to get some work done before Markez is up and going. It may be the only peace I get all day. Maybe even all summer.

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May 30th, 2011]
[ mood | sleepy ]

It's been a long day, so I'm just going to write a short entry and try and sleep. I was up late last night working, and then we got up early to get ready for the barbecue over at Amber's parents' house. It's tempting to try and get an hour or so of work done, but I think I'm too tired for that. I'm ahead at the moment anyway, so I'll resist the urge to get further ahead.

Of course, Markez is all hyped up due to overdose of sugar and caffeine, but we obviously expected that. We'll see how far this plan of sleeping goes. I wonder if we could pawn him off on Mikel for the night. I should suggest that to Amber. I'm sure he'll be up most, if not all, of the night as well, and he's usually willing to put up with a hyper Markez.

I think I'm just going to go suggest that to Amber and then see about sleep. I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open.

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April 30th, 2011]
[ mood | busy ]

This isn't going to be a long, detail oriented entry. We're with Amber's family, and I don't want to spend much time on here during family time. But I did need to make a post, so here it is. I'll try my best to make a longer post next time, hopefully without being dull.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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April 14th, 2011]
[ mood | sleepy ]

I should be going to bed now, but I decided that I might as well get this done. I just reached the goal I set myself for work tonight, and I promised Amber I wouldn't go any further on that, as tempting as it is. I hate having to put it off until tomorrow since I like getting it done while things are fresh in my head, and I have a few things I know I want to do next. Oh well, I suppose I can manage. Hopefully none of it will slip out of my head while I sleep.

Most of my time has been spent on work, which I'm sure is dull to everyone else. With Amber not working again, she's taken over the teaching of Markez, so that leaves me free to work. Of course, I have to take frequent Garnet breaks, but I certainly don't mind that. Sometimes I think Amber puts her up to interrupting me so I take time off of working, but I can't prove it. It would certainly be an Amber thing to do. And since last week was Spring Break for the kids, I spent far less time on work and far more on play than I probably should have. That's all right, though. Spending time with the family is more important, when it comes down to it. I'd hate to turn into someone like John and see my family only rarely while making excuses about not having any other choice. Some people I will never understand.

I do think it's a good time to finish this and go to bed, though. I'm more tired than I thought I was when I finished working. I'll likely be getting up early as it is, so the more sleep, the better.

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March 24th, 2011]
[ mood | tired ]

Now that things have calmed down and quieted a little, I can sit down and relax. Markez has been going full bore all day, and he finally seems to have worn himself down a little. The fact that he slept very little last night probably has something to do with it, too.

I spent a few more days than I expected in Colorado, but it was necessary. I now have plenty of work to keep me busy for some time to come. The new contract is a very lucrative one, and it's nice to have such job security in today's economy. I wish others had the same luxury.

Getting back into the swing of home schooling Markez was interesting, to say the least. Dev's teaching methods are certainly different, but they seem to work very well. In spite of himself, Markez found himself interested in what he was doing more often than not, and for that, I'm very grateful to Dev. I'll have to try and get some tips from him, although I don't know that it would do me any good. Trying to tap into his thought processes is probably not something of which I'm very capable. He did offer to help out whenever we want, so that's nice to have to fall back on.

Amber will soon be taking back home schooling duties soon, however. Peter will be able to go back to work around the first of next month, so that leaves Amber unemployed once more. She does want to look for another job, and hopefully she'll be able to find one. I know how much she wants to keep working. I'd be the same way in her position.

I suppose I should do a little work before I go to bed. I have quite a lot to do, and it's not quite feasible during the day since I have to work with Markez. I see many long nights ahead.

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March 9th, 2011]
[ mood | busy ]

I'm getting this done somewhat early for me because I have to catch a flight back to Colorado tomorrow for work purposes. We recently got a new contract, and we have to discuss details such as who will be assigned to what, deadlines, etc. I have no idea how long it's going to take. It's conceivable that it might take a few days, which means I'll be too busy to do much else during that time. I hope it doesn't take that long, but we'll see.

I hate leaving, but I don't have much choice. That means that we're going to have to find something else to do about Markez's home schooling, which should be a thrill. I would prefer that Amber weren't forced to do it after coming home from work since she really should be able to relax then. I might have to ask around and see if anyone is willing to help. I'd rather not ask Charlie since he works, and Mikel just isn't suited to that sort of thing. Perhaps Susan would be open to the idea. I might have to ask her. She's always very helpful, after all. Of course, I could always ask Standard Deviation. That could be amusing. He's brilliant, and I'd be curious to see what his teaching methods entail. Perhaps I'll try that first.

Things have been going all right for the most part. Rafiq and Ramon have been working on trying to get Sonny to hang out with them more, and they seem to be wearing him down. Amber was talking about maybe inviting him over for dinner one night soon. I don't know how he'll react to that, but hopefully in a favorable way. I'm very glad to see things going this way. It's nice for Rafiq to have something to focus on like that, and it helps him to realize, I think, that his past experiences can be of use in helping someone else. He's got a great heart, and I hope Sonny will respond to both his and Ramon's efforts to befriend him.

Speaking of dinner, I really should get started on that. I want to have a hot meal ready for Amber when she gets home so she doesn't have anything to worry about that way. I've got a pot roast ready to go into the oven, and just have to get the vegetables ready to go in with it.

Have a great week, everyone.

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January 31st, 2011]
[ mood | hungry ]

Time to get this done, I guess. Time flies when you have a deadline. I've noticed this many times over the years. And yet, somehow the knowledge hasn't helped me to make all of those deadlines. Go figure.

I have been busy with work, however, so I have a little bit of an excuse. I've got a fairly complicated project I'm working on, and it's been taking up a lot of time. It's nice to have the distraction, but time tends to fly when I'm in the middle of work as well. I feel like I've missed almost the entire month of January. Having to home school Markez during the days hasn't helped with that, either. It just means I have to go to bed later in order to get things done. Of course, truth be told, I'd end up staying up late anyway, because I get very into my work.

I did have the great "joy" of hearing from my mother again two days ago. She called out of the blue to let me know that my brother is doing "so much better" and that he's been a "remarkable help and comfort" to her. That's so nice to know. I'm thrilled, really. In her typical fashion, she didn't ask a thing about my family or me or how anyone is. She just wanted to make sure I know what a failure I've been as a son and a brother lately. I only listened with half an ear to most of her blather. When she told me that Tad wanted to talk to me, I found myself just hanging up my phone and turning it off. One of the last people in the world I want to talk to is my stepfather.

Rafiq's birthday was yesterday, and he seemed to enjoy it. We had a nice party for him, and Bridget, who calls him her birthday buddy, came over to give him a special present and share some cake before Damien took her out to celebrate her birthday. Both of my boys are quite fond of Bridget, which is strange in Markez's case. Well, the fact that he admits that he likes her is strange. She's a girl, after all. But she does zombies and all sorts of things he thinks are cool "boy" things, so maybe that completely negates her gender. Who knows?

Dinner's almost ready, so I'm going to sign off. If I don't get there in time, who knows how much will be left for the one person in this family who doesn't eat like a horse?

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December 31st, 2010]
[ mood | busy ]

Time to finally get this done, I suppose. I'm lucky I remembered with everything going on. New Year's Eve is not the best time to put these things off until. Yes, I know that sentence is a bad one. Sue me.

It's been a pretty wild and busy night, but very enjoyable as well. The kids are running around having fun, and it's been quite a chore for everyone to keep Markez from just taking off to find mischief. It's harder to deal with him when there are large crowds of people, but that's no surprise, I'm sure. He's at least easily distracted. In fact, I'm going to distract him by having him write his post after mine. That should kill a minute or two. I wouldn't expect anything too deep from him, however.

Things have been going pretty well this month, which I hope is a good sign for the new year. There have been ups and downs here and there, but nothing like it's been known to get. I'm trying to be optimistic. Maybe I'll make that a resolution. Who knows?

I'll cut this short so I can get Markez to write his post, and then hopefully we can distract him with something else. If I had handcuffs, I'd attach him to Mikel. That would at least keep him near someone who can keep an eye on him.

Happy New Year to everyone. May 2011 be a hundred times better for us all.

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December 13th, 2010]
[ mood | okay ]

I get to take a brief break from schooling Markez because of lunch, so it's as good a time as any to do this. It's been pretty damn busy around here the past few days, so it's nice to have a lull in it all.

Home schooling the boy has been a little easier since I wrenched my knee, which is a nice benefit. I didn't want to make him feel so bad about it, however. For two or three days there he was acting pretty down about it, but he's gotten back into his usual routine, albeit a little muted during schooling times. I'm sure that won't last for too long, but we'll see.

The Christmas rush is upon us, and that makes everything seem so much more frantic. I still haven't done nearly as much shopping as I should have, but I at least have ideas that will make it easier when I do go out. I just hate the process of shopping and tend to put it off as much as I can. I get nagged at for it on occasion, but at least I could be worse. I could be Doug. I can't imagine putting off most, if not all, of my shopping until Christmas Eve. The man is nuts.

We've lost pretty much all of our snow, save for those mounds that were made with shoveling that take longer to melt. There's been rain and warmer weather, which I don't mind as much as some, but I would like some snow for Christmas. We'll see how that goes. We have rain projected for awhile, but there is a possibility for snow on the weekend. We can hope.

Amber seems to be enjoying her temporary job for the most part, although she's been having difficulties regarding one kid. She's dealing with it as best she can, but it's really getting to her. I'm sure it's getting to Peter as well since he knows the kid. The two have talked a few times about it, and I'm not sure what's going to come of it. It's a damn shame, and I hope things work out all right. Amber's been very stressed about it, and I'd like to see her be able to sit down and relax for the holidays.

Rafiq's been doing quite well at school, which is always a relief. He's even made a couple of friends in one of his classes and has asked if they can come over soon. I'm certainly not turning that down. It's good to see. Between that and his improving grades, he seems to have settled into things much better this year. Let's hope it continues that way.

Garnet is Garnet, which is always a good thing. She's been running around demanding that Christmas hurry up and get here, and she keeps adding things to her Santa list. We helped her write a litter to him earlier in the month, and now she wants to write another with her new list. Go figure.

Markez seems to have finished dawdling over his lunch, so I need to get him back into things before he finds the urge to escape impossible to resist. At least we're almost done. That's as big a relief to me as it is to him. I'm so looking forward to Christmas break.

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November 29th, 2010]
[ mood | sore ]

I don't mind snow usually. I like it, in fact. However, when I need to chase an errant Markez and he runs outside into the snow, I have to curse it. My knee is not in any shape to go running around out there risking falling on the ice, and it hurts like hell to wrench it. Markez knows this, and so his best defense against me is to run out into the snow.

I feel very lucky that Isaac got here when he did. I sat on the steps of the porch after wrenching my knee, and he go tout of his car just as Markez ran around the back of the house. Isaac may still not be able to talk as well as he did, but he's gotten plenty of practice with Markez's name (go figure, right?). All it took was one yell of the kid's name, and he came running back around to the front of the house trying his innocent look on his grandfather.

It didn't work.

If he could have lifted Markez up by the scruff of the neck, I'm sure he would have. As it was, he picked him up and threw him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and carried him into the house, sitting him down on the couch before going out to help me in. Markez had even stayed on the couch, trying to look contrite, but nobody was buying that. He did feel bad about my knee, at least. That much I believe.

He's still sitting on the couch, doing some reading. Isaac is seated across from him and is watching him with his no nonsense face. I think the day has turned sour for the kid, although he only had two more things to do after this and he's done for the day and can go out and let off some of that energy.

All I can say is, thank God for my father-in-law. How many people utter those words, I wonder?

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November 15th, 2010]
[ mood | exhausted ]

It's only two o'clock in the afternoon, and I'm already exhausted.

Amber took a temporary job taking over for Peter for a few weeks while he's recovering from surgery, and that leaves me stuck with doing at least some of Markez's schooling. This is so not my bag. It would be easier if I could chase him, but I can't do that effectively with my knee. He takes great advantage of this. I did get a few things done with him, which should have taken a maximum of an hour or so, but it took four hours since he kept getting up and doing other things, at one point running out the door because he heard someone out there he wanted to ambush.

I finally ended up calling Mikel, who kindly came over and is now dealing with Markez while I do this and a few other things. Sometimes he's the only one Markez will listen to. I did have Isaac come over on Friday, and he sat there and acted as an intimidating barrier. All of those years with Mikel taught him how to deal with problem children, and Markez knows that his grandfather won't put up with any nonsense on his part. It's not even that he's done much of anything, but it's the uncertainty about what he will do that keeps Markez in line. Isaac wasn't available today, so I tried to go it alone. Big mistake. At least Mikel was able to come over. My head is pounding, and when it's feeling better, I'm going to try this thing again. I don't know how Amber does it. As much respect as I had for her before this, it's increase several times over since I've been doing this.

I'd write more, but frankly, I don't feel like it. Like I said, my head is pounding and I need to rest my eyes.

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October 31st, 2010]
[ mood | busy ]

Now that I've finally managed to peel Garnet off of me, I can do this. She's been wanting me with her constantly the past day or two, and it's been next to impossible for me to do anything without her. I hope that doesn't mean she's going to end up with whatever illness has been going around.

It's been a lot more chaotic than usual today, and I'll be glad when things wind down. That probably won't be until pretty late, but we'll see. Markez is going to be one hell of a terror after tonight, so the winding down probably won't actually happen for days. Oh, how I look forward to that.

The house looks very Halloweeny, thanks mostly to Bridget. She certainly does know how to give Halloween the proper atmosphere. She could probably make money doing it. It's something she might want to consider. Of course, it will be less fun when it comes to taking everything down. I wonder if she'll be present for that as well or if we're stuck with that work. I suppose we'll find out.

I'm going to make this entry shorter than usual due to the chaos as well as the fact that Garnet is hanging onto my leg begging for me to watch cartoons with her. There are worse fates, I suppose.

Have a good day, everyone.

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